June 12, 2023

7 of the Best Views in the USVI

The U.S. Virgin Islands draw visitors from around the world. Some visit St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix to relax on some of the world’s most famous and beautiful beaches, while others make the short journey from the U.S. mainland to hike through the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and experience all that nature has to offer. USVI visitors like to return home with amazing photographs of these picturesque islands and the crystal-clear waters surrounding them, but where should they head to if they want to snap a perfect shot? That is the question this post will answer as we take a look at the seven best views in the USVI.

Why Visit the USVI?

Caribbean islands are known for their amazing beaches, but the USVI have a lot more to offer than pristine stretches of white sand and endless turquoise waters. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix are steeped in history and have some of the most diverse ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere, and Americans don’t need a passport or visa to visit as the USVI is a U.S. territory.

Top 7 Best Views in the USVI

The Virgin Islands archipelago, which includes the British Virgin Islands and the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques as well as the USVI, is volcanic in origin. This means that all of the archipelago’s islands are hilly and some are mountainous. The highest point in the USVI is the summit of Crown Mountain in St. Thomas, but there are plenty of other great vantage points on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John for visitors that don’t relish the prospect of hiking up a 1,555-foot elevation. Here are seven of the best.

1. The Peace Hill Windmill

Located inside the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, which covers about 60% of St. John’s land area, the Peace Hill Windmill offers incredible views of Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Caneel Bay and the British Virgin Islands. You won’t have to huff and puff to enjoy this view as the road runs almost to the top, but there is only enough parking for about five cars. You will have to walk about 200 yards up a rugged dirt trail to reach the windmill, but it will be well worth the effort.


The windmill was once part of a thriving sugar mill, but the ruined buildings now provide a perfect backdrop for amazing vacation photos. You can take a beautiful shot of Trunk Bay through the ruined sugar mill’s large window, or you could walk down a narrow trail to the beach. The Peace Hill Windmill is a serene and peaceful retreat, but it is only about a 10-minute drive from the bustle of Cruz Bay.

2. Drake’s Seat

Most St. Thomas vacations include a trip to Magens Bay, and the road to Magens Bay passes Drake’s Seat. This vantage point is located high in the center of St. Thomas, and it provides breathtaking panoramic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The site is so named because island lore has it that the British mariner Sir Francis Drake used the vantage point to look for treasure ships, but there is little historical evidence to back up this claim.


You won’t need to make a reservation or buy a ticket to visit Drake’s Seat as there is not much to do here other than take in the incredible views. There is a small parking area off Hull Bay Road, and there is an iconic green bench that dates back to the 1930s. You will be able to see islands including Jost Van Dyke, St. John, Thatch Cay and Little Tobago from Drake’s Seat, and the Charlotte Amalie Lookout is only minutes away.

3. Mountain Top

If you want to sip on a cocktail or grab some swag while you take in jaw-dropping island views, you should add a visit to Mountain Top in St. Thomas to your vacation itinerary. Many of the best lookout spots in the USVI provide great vistas but little else, but Mountain Top is a vacation destination. Along with amazing views of Magens Bay and more than 15 islands, the summit of St. Peter Mountain offers the Caribbean’s largest duty-free shop and a cocktail bar known for delicious banana daiquiris.


The road leading to Mountain Top is twisty and narrow, and you can either drive it yourself or take a tour bus. When you reach the top, you will have unobstructed views of the area’s incredible natural beauty from a large observation deck.

4. The Skyride to Paradise Point

The Skyride to Paradise Point has become one of the most popular attractions in St. Thomas. Cable cars with huge windows provide amazing views from a vantage point 700 feet above St. Thomas Harbor, and the trip from the quayside to the top of Paradise Point only takes about seven minutes. If you take the Skyride on a clear day, you will get a birds-eye view of large cruise ships on the way up and see Puerto Rico and St. Croix when you reach the top. This is one of the most beautiful places in the USVI, with a comfortable bar and restaurant where you can savor it.


Each cable car can carry eight people, and roundtrip tickets cost $24.95 for adults and $16.95 for children. The Skyride to Paradise Point caters mainly to cruise passengers, so the service may not be running if you visit St. Thomas when no ships are in port.

5. Point Udall

Point Udall is a rocky promontory that juts into the Caribbean Sea from the eastern end of St. Croix. When you reach Point Udall, you can enjoy one of the best water views in the USVI. Sunrises are particularly spectacular. Signs on U.S. Route 82 will guide you to Point Udall, but you will have to walk up a rutted dirt road to enjoy the view.


You will know that you are in the right place when you see a huge stone sundial called the Millennium Monument. The monument was built to celebrate the first U.S. sunrise of the 21st century. The ocean views from Point Udall are spectacular, and there is a waterfront trail leading away from the vantage point that is just as beautiful. There is also a fabulous home known as “the Castle” to marvel at. Built in the 1980s by a Bulgarian countess, the home’s design was inspired by Moorish palaces.

6. The Trunk Bay Viewpoint

Trunk Bay is St. John’s most beautiful beach, offering visitors amazing views above and below the waves. The vista from the Trunk Bay Viewpoint is one of the most picturesque in the Caribbean, and a 225-yard underwater trail takes snorkelers past dazzling coral formations and gives them a chance to see turtles and other marine animals in their natural habitats. You won’t have to bring any gear with you to enjoy all that Trunk Bay has to offer because snorkeling gear, kayaks and beach chairs can all be rented. There are also restrooms, showers and a snack bar.


To get to Trunk Bay, you should take North Shore Road out of Cruz Bay. The drive to Trunk Bay is gorgeous, and you will know that you are getting close when you see the ruins of a former sugar plantation loom into view. Trunk Bay has a $5 admission fee, but you will not have to pay extra for parking.

7. Charlotte Amalie Overlook

The Charlotte Amalie Overlook is a popular scenic point just a few minutes away from Drake’s Seat. This is the place to come if you want a picture postcard view of Charlotte Amalie. The town is a Caribbean treasure that dates back to the 17th century, and it was once a thriving pirate base. You can also see Hassle Island and Havesight Harbor from the Charlotte Amalie Overlook, and the view is especially pretty when the sun sets and the town’s lights flicker into life.


The Charlotte Amalie Overlook is on the same road as Drake’s Seat, and there is a small parking area that is well-signposted. There are no restaurants or snack bars at the overlook, but there are usually local musicians playing steel drums to listen to.

The Perfect USVI Vacation

If you are planning a trip to the USVI, stunning vantage points like Drake’s Seat, Point Udall and the Trunk Bay Viewpoint are attractions that you should not miss. If you want to find a perfect vacation home for your island stay, Vacation VI has condos, cottages and mansions on St. Thomas and St. John. We also offer our guests a concierge service that books VIP transport and provides private chefs for meal preparation. We want your vacation to be perfect, so we leave nothing to chance. If you would like to learn more about our USVI vacation rentals, you can fill out our online form or call us at (800) 727-6610.

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